Updated 12.45, 13.10, 13.15, 13.21, 13.23, 13.29, 13.31, 13.41, 13.50, 14.13
PASSENGERS on board a train at Stonehaven between Dundee and Aberdeen have been injured in a derailment, and at least one fatality has been reported. If so, it will be the first fatality in a British train accident since 2007. Smoke has been billowing into the air from the remote crash site.
Some sources are suggesting that most of the train, an HST with four passenger vehicles and two power cars with 12 people on board, six passengers and six crew, slid down an embankment after colliding with a landslip, but this has not yet been confirmed and the exact cause of the derailment remains unclear.
Network Rail Scotland had tweeted at 09.49 that it had received reports of a landslip at Carmont, the site of the accident. It also posted a video showing flooded tracks.
The incident happened at about 09.40 today, and occurred as heavy rain swept across Scotland, causing widespread disruption to train services elsewhere as well as flooding in the nearby town of Stonehaven when the River Carron burst its banks.
There has been a major response from emergency services, with many ambulances, including at least one air ambulance, at the scene.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said there had been ‘an extremely serious incident’ and that her ’thoughts are with all those involved’.
The Transport Salaried Staffs Association has told the Scotsman that four vehicles of the 06.38 Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street service had become derailed.
The RMT said it was working to support its members. Senior assistant general secretary Mick Lynch said: ‘RMT is aware of the major incident at Stonehaven and our reps are liaising directly at senior level with both ScotRail and Network Rail.
’Our priority at this time is to support our members, their colleagues and their families and to do all that we can to assist the rescue operation which RMT members are currently involved in.
‘The facts behind this incident will need to be established in due course but at this stage we are focused on support and assistance and our thoughts are with all those impacted by this tragedy.’
National Rail Enquiries is reporting that all services have been cancelled between Dundee and Aberdeen.
BACKGROUND: On 23 February 2007 a Virgin West Coast train from London Euston to Glasgow Central became derailed on points at Lambrigg, near Grayrigg in Cumbria, while travelling at the authorised speed of 95mph (153 km/h). The nine-car Class 390 Pendolino was completely derailed and fell down an embankment. There were at least 105 passengers and four crew on board. One passenger was fatally injured, 28 passengers, the train driver and one other crew member were seriously injured, and 59 passengers received minor injuries. (Source: RAIB)